The new Red Devils manager has urged the club to ‘explore‘ a deal for the Barcelona midfielder this summer.
A sale is regarded as ‘plausible‘ to address the Blaugrana’s need for funds, although they may still demand €80m (£68.4m) for the 25-year-old. Also, the player himself insisted recently that he’s living his ‘dream‘ at the Nou Camp and doesn’t intend to leave.
De Jong was part of Ten Hag’s Ajax side which won a league and cup double in 2018/19 and, of course, beat Real Madrid and Juventus to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League that year.
O’Rourke thinks that De Jong would be open to rekindling a partnership with Ten Hag which delivered ‘great success’ in Amsterdam, adding that while the Netherlands international may be content at Barcelona, the club could be forced to offload him.
The journalist told GiveMeSport: “I think obviously it would be a big factor in him going to Manchester United would be to work with Erik ten Hag again [sic]. They had great success at Ajax, so I am sure that would be in his thinking if he was to leave Barcelona this summer.
“De Jong has come out and said he is happy in Barcelona and would like to stay, but that might change due to Barcelona’s financial issues and their other transfer targets.”
De Jong, who was dubbed a ‘beast‘ by Barcelona manager Xavi, would certainly be a blockbuster addition at Old Trafford.
He was named the Champions League midfielder of the season in 2019 and made the FIFPro World XI the same year whilst also scooping a Ballon D’Or nomination. It’s a sparkling list of individual accolades.
De Jong is a gifted technician, ranking in the top 8% among positional peers in the big five European leagues for pass completion, progressive passes and progressive carries in 2021/22 (via FBRef).
He occasionally pitches in with goals and assists too, having registered 30 direct involvements (13 goals, 17 assists) since joining Barcelona in 2019, and he could be a tremendous prospective addition to United’s midfield.
In other news, United have also been offered this midfielder too
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